Christmas in July Sale 20% Off!

Ready for summer break?  I am.  I have not stopped since the last day of school on June 22nd.  I am ready to s-l-o-w it down a bit, but that is not a reality for me this summer.  I am moving to a new school district, which means switching a lot of small stuff around.  Not to mention, I had to move my PACKED classroom from one school to another.  The new district was gracious enough to let me move all of the big furniture into my new classroom, but allllllllllll of the small stuff is in either my office or garage.  FYI: I have a ton of small stuff.  Welcome to being a pre-k or kindergarten teacher, right?  Gah!

Anyway, to celebrate moving to a new school, I am throwing a Christmas in July sale!  Everything in my store, including bundles and my new 120 sight word booklet growing bundle (30 weeks of shared reading), will be marked 20% off from July 11 - 14.

Life changes deserve a solid celebration.  Visit my store to see all I have to offer your students (and you).

What Do Writers Write? Writing Area Printable Poster {FREE}

This summer break has been so inspiring.  After Pinteresting my way through the morning, I whipped up this printable poster for my classroom! 

Click the image above to download this free printable file.
I love it. I printed mine with black and white ink on Astrobright cardstock (yellow, pink, ivory, and white).  Now I just need to add a little glue and laminate this baby!  There is a full color printable, as well as the black and white in my file.  Pick the one that works best for you.  This is HUGE once printed...38" x 9.5".  It will really make a statement in the classroom writing area!

Click here to grab this FREE printable poster!

Click the image to snag the FREE download!
I admit, I was inspired by someone else's work, but I could not find a printable file.  I am sharing my file for free...just to spread the writing area love.


Happy crafting!

120 Shared Reading Sight Word (Heart Word) Fluency Readers - Kindergarten

This will be a FAST Growing Bundle:
This is a growing bundle of 30 weeks of shared reading sight word booklets. 120 books will be added to this bundle no later than 7/27/18. Updates will be posted below. As files are added, the buy in price increases, and the final bundle price will be $30.00. Once you’ve paid, all updates are free. Simply re-download the product to receive all of the updates.

* Launched 7/2/18 with Week 1 & 2 included

Click here to preview this product!
This Bundle Includes:
* 120 books (4 books per week spanning 30 weeks)

* 92 featured sight words (or heart words) 

* You choose between introducing these as “sight words” or “heart words. Both sets of books are included. (I call them heart words because students need to know them by heart.)

* Flexibility to choose any book to be used any time in the year!

Featured Words:

The sight words (or heart words) featured in the book are a combination of words utilized in both the kindergarten levels of ReadyGen curriculum and iReady testing. They happen to also be featured in many popular sight word lists used in most kindergarten classrooms. Use the books in any order you wish. Each week is marked with a week number and letter (a-d). As the week goes on, the books incorporate more featured sight words for the week. As the school year goes on, the books feature more text to help students learn to “round the corner” as they track from one line to the next, pause when they see punctuation, and read with expression to match the punctuation shown. Each book contains tracking dots…all the way through week 30. In some books, certain letters are underlined. This is a great time to point out digraphs & blends, uppercase vs. lowercase (as vs. As), vowel teams, etc.

I introduce several sight words per week, and these little books follow the roll out schedule below:
Week 1 (I, am, you)
Week 2 (a, see, end)
Week 3 (the, to, is)
Week 4 (little, in, my, love)
Week 5 (it, like, we)
Week 6 (he, she, me)
Week 7 (because, and, can)
Week 8 (are, look, for)
Week 9 (play, with, one)
Week 10 (two, three, four, five)
Week 11 (house, home, have)
Week 12 (from, by, them)
Week 13 (run, jump, big)
Week 14 (that, this, was) 
Week 15(they, has, do) 
Week 16 (yes, no, at) 
Week 17 (no, into, under) 
Week 18 (what, where, will) 
Week 19 (go, up, here) 
Week 20 (of, be, went)
Week 21 (come, said, did)
Week 22 (say, please, get)
Week 23 (find, make, there)
Week 24 (red, yellow, blue)
Week 25 (green, day, saw)
Week 26 (came, name, way)
Week 27 (out, our, down)
Week 28 (help, now, away)
Week 29 (funny, ran, ball)
Week 30 (ride, ate, eat)

Why Sight Word Fluency Readers?
These little books were created out of pure need.  As a school, we noticed students were not catching on to the concept of tracking words while reading.  Several teachers on my team, as well as our first grade team, noticed many students were also struggling with getting those tricky high frequency words to “stick”.
I began creating and using these fluency readers for use in my classroom.  Before I knew it, my team of eight utilized them four days per week.  We were blown away at how quickly students were learning sight words, routinely using critical foundational skills, and truly learning and applying reading strategies we all work so diligently to teach during whole group and small group lessons. All of this by just reading, highlighting, and practicing writing important words four days per week.  Practice makes permanent! 

1. Give each student a highlighter and a book. I do this activity (whole group) at the carpet. You could also use this as a table work activity. I demonstrate with a book that is on a clipboard. Other teachers use a document camera.

2. At the beginning of the school year, I always tell students the name of the book. Around February, most (if not all) students are able to at least attempt reading most of the title with me. 

3. I direct students to put their tracking finger (index finger) on the dot under the very first word…of the very first part of the book. Using fun pointers & monster fingers hooks them in for those first few days of reading!

4. Quickly read the sentence to students (beginning of the year), and then read it together as a group. Keep going! “Move your tracking finger to the first dot, under the first word, of the second part of the book.” I say this with a BIG exaggerated voice to make it funny and get the point across that we are moving on.

5. The first week of using these readers, we read together and practice tracking. In the second week, I introduce highlighting the words we know by heart (sight words). Week 3, we add in circling nouns, and drawing arrows from the word to the picture that matches. As the books grow more sophisticated later in the year, we circle verbs, adjectives (aka: fancy words), etc.

6. Once you have read the book together, flip to the back page. Read the “words you need to know” to students. Many will be able to read them with you. Have students practice writing those important words on the line beside each word with their highlighter. As time goes on, I let kids know their “super challenge” is to write each word two times. After spring break (or so), the super challenge rises to writing each word three times.

This shared reading activity is so much fun, and it is amazing to watch the confidence levels build in each student as they move deeper into becoming a reader.

Happy shared reading,
Heather Cacak
Kindergarten Teacher & Reading Specialist

Preview & Purchase Here:

Storing and Organizing Take-Home Reading Books

Do you send home books for students to read at home?  I know there are so many different thoughts out there regarding "homework".  I am a firm believer in reading anywhere and as often as possible.  For this reason, I send home a reading bag with one to three books each week.  It depends on the time of year and the needs of each student, really.  For the take-home bags, I choose books for students.  In the classroom, for the quiet reading time bags, I let the kids choose.  Believe it or not, they actually enjoy the surprise aspect of not knowing what they are going to get in their bag.  After spring break, in combination with the books I choose for them to read, I allow students to start taking home an Elephant and Piggie book that they choose on their own.  Again, it changes throughout the year. 

I mostly use printable books from Reading A-Z, but I have been supplementing a little with Tara West's fiction and non-fiction readers, lately.  My students adore Tara's books

Reading A-Z book in level AA
For the past two school years, these books have lived in my home office.  I collect books in the classroom each Friday morning and swap the books every Sunday afternoon.  As of the 2018-19 school year, *gulp*, they are going to live in my classroom.  This is a BIG step for me, in terms of making more time for my family.  I am tired of spending weekend time dealing with book bags I will now have to take care of these bags on Friday (or Monday morning before school).  Again, this is a b-i-g step for me.

In order to pull this off, I needed the books to be super organized.  I was organized before...sort of.  Each level lived in a plastic shoe box from Dollar Tree.  The books were grouped together by title so I could find them somewhat quickly.  It worked for me, but I knew there had to be a way that would make this process go even faster for me. An example of the old shoe box method can be seen below.

Does this make you as nervous as it makes me?  It almost fell off the chair while snapping this picture.  Yikes.
Now all of the books live in two drawers of my file cabinets that will soon be moved into the classroom.  I was so shocked that they only took up two drawers!  The drawers I chose to use are side-by-side, rather than stacked on top of one another.  This is because this particular drawer level is easy for me to see and access books.  I will open up both drawers, quickly grab what I need, log it in each student's reading bag spreadsheet, and move on with my life.  I was able to fit two book titles per hanging file, which saved a ton of space. 

Side-by-side file drawers of organized books. *bliss*
I believe this side-by-side drawer thing will also make putting the old books away much faster. Also, I am hoping now that the books are in an order that moves from front to back within each file drawer...I can eliminate tracking which books have been read in a spreadsheet.  I will give the spreadsheet one more year. It does work for me, but I would not mind ditching that step in the process.  Oh, and the titles are in order of how I typically begin handing out books for each level (not alphabetical).  I think this will help with tracking the books I hand out.

Okay, so you might be wondering how much of my time this has taken.  The books were already printed. That took the most time.  It took me two school years to make my collection.  I bought the hanging files at Goodwill for super, super cheap. I have been collecting those for a while.  As for the file tabs, I have been working on typing the titles and printing tabs for a couple of and there...on and off.  Yes, I made a file tab for each book title.  Yes, I made file tabs for each book level in hopes those bright pink tabs will help my eyes see each level quickly.  Yes, I might have lost my mind and spent nearly $50.00 in file tabs.  However, if this will make my weekend life book bag free...BRING IT!  The book bag system I use works for me and for families.  I simply need to switching out process to not be in my house and be organized enough that I can move through the process faster.

I would love to hear what you are organizing over summer break!  Leave me a comment or find me on Instagram or Pinterest.  :)

A-Z Camping Themed Write the Room

I whipped together a fun "write the room" activity for my June reading stations.  Yes, I will be teaching until nearly the end of June!  *gasp*  I am putting together a camping theme for my classroom, and I wanted a WTR activity to match.  It's 50% off for the weekend!  

This packet includes:
- 19 printable pages
- 26 (A-Z) word wall / pocket chart cards- Table top word chart (I place them acrylic sign holders!)- 3 differentiated levels of word recording sheets - My favorite winter word write, draw & tell- Beginning letter match up- Syllable count and match- Syllable count and graph- Spin and spell

Words of Focus:animals, bear, canoe, deer, eagle, fire, ghost story, hive, insects, jerky, kindling, lantern, mountains, nature, overnight, pole, quest, rope, sleeping bag, tent, utility truck, vest, water, experts, yummy, zone

Classroom Ideas:Print, cut, laminate, and hang the word wall cards around your classroom . You can post the cards in your writing area, a pocket chart, or hang them around the room (walls, doors, cubbies, backs of shelves, etc.). Students can use them to spell & read each word by pointing with their finger or with a pointer. They can record/write the words on the recording sheets provided in this packet.
My students take great pride in writing and reading key words of the season. I hope your students looooove these activities as much as mine do.

Camping Write the Room:

Find more of my seasonal WTR packets HERE!

Editable Auto-filling Name Labels (Avery 5160)

I loooooove labeling student items with Avery 5160 mailing labels.  From pencil boxes to writing journals, I label it all.  Creating the labels in the past always took a lot of time at the start of the school year.  That is a thing of the past!

I created an auto-fill label template that will spit out either a class list of labels or an entire sheet of labels per student!  This is such a time saver for me.

If you have multiple classes, copy the file and save the as the class name..."Math Intervention 2017-18" or "Spanish Period 1 2017-18".

You must open this file in ADOBE to edit the text boxes.
1. Download the file to your computer.
2. Close all of your internet browsers.
3. Open the file and edit.

What do I need to get started?
You will need to download and install the FREE KG Red Hands font in order for the labels to look like the labels in the preview images. The font can be found here:

If printing as a sticky label, this template fits Avery 5160 label sheets.

Where do I start typing?
Type student names into the boxes on the start page. This packet accommodates up to 30 student names. You do not need to type names on each page of the packet. Once you enter a name on the start page, that name will pop on in the corresponding numbered spot throughout the entire document.

What print options do I have?
You can print a sheet featuring each student in your class. You can also
print entire sheets with just one name. I print two entire sheets for each student in my class and keep them in a 3 ring binder to use all year long. This makes labeling classroom items a breeze.

This editable packet is free. I would appreciate positive feedback if you have time. If you love it, tell your teacher friends so they can download a copy. If you are not happy with what I have created, please consider emailing me to let me know what I can do better next time.

Happy labeling,
Heather Cacak

Grab your free copy today!

Download here:

MLK Day Writing & Craft for Kindergarten

Looking for a simple, effective, and FREE writing craft for your kindergarten class?  My students will be reading about Dr. King, thinking about what their own dream of kindness looks like, writing about their dream, and wrapping it up with a cut and paste craft.

I have posted the FREE packet in my TPT store.  If you are in need of an activity when you come back from the holiday weekend, this might do the trick.